Shimon Peres says Russian, US Presidents responsible for peace
Presidents of Russia and the United States shoulder responsibility for the cause of global peace, Israel's President Shimon Peres said Thursday at a meeting with Putin, Itar-Tass reported.
"A great burden of responsibility rests on your shoulders and the shoulders of the reelected U.S. President," Peres said addressing Putin. "Whatever the arguments /between Russia and the U.S. may be, there is responsibility of a higher order and it concerns the destiny of entire humankind."
Peres, who was born in 1923 called Putin and Barack Obama "two very young people".
"Sixty years old /an obvious reference to the fact that Putin turned sixty October 7, 2012 - Itar-Tass/ is a very green age and what's really interesting is the two leaders who're really young already have a big record of experience and they're bearing responsibility for peace and for putting an end to poverty, oppression, and wars," President Peres said.
He expressed his profound respect for the Russian people, calling it "a great nation with a great soul."
"I think the whole world is obliged to the Russians for the elimination of the Nazi threat and I'm confident Russia will thwart the attempts to breed racism in the future, too," Peres said.
He recalled the Jewish Center for Tolerance, which Putin and he had opened in a gala ceremony earlier in the day. "That's a work of architecture and arts and it houses a really unique museum," he said.
Peres thanked Russia "for giving the Jewish people a living space for a thousand years." "Russia has acted in a way that enables the Jews to have not only the past, but also the future."
"The Soviet Union and Russia dealt the most decisive blow to Hitler's insanity," he continued. "It's easy to speak about victories but the Russians lost around 30 million people in World War II and any decent and dignified person should say 'Thank you Russia'."
He praised the courage displayed by the Soviet Army soldiers in the battlefield and urged the public quarters "to keep memories of the war", adding that those who deny Holocaust create the grounds for its repetition.
On the whole, he expressed satisfaction with the level of Israeli-Russian relations, saying: "While diplomacy and economics would dominate these relations in the past, science and culture have joined them now."